Do you have change for $20?
First, let me confirm it. Yes, American dollars are the main currency in Ecuador., well kinda. The main bill in circulation is 100% US grade a prime US presidents but the change is another thing. When accepting change, don’t be surprised to see a handful of nonsensical looking coins. You will see a familiar friend in that pile of shrapnel, a US dollar coin or the almighty Sacagewea. Ever wonder why you never see them in the states anymore…ugghh emm, they are all in Ecuador now!
Another hint about local money Do’s. Try and avoid using the $20 bill. Sounds silly but when an average monthly wage is less than $500, $20’s aren’t readily in the manos (hands) of the locals. You could land in many of a sticky situation when you have lack of cambio (change). Get your change at the bank and stock up on your $1’s , $5’s and plenty of centavos (coins). And don’t be surprised if you are given a mass of coins, some being local Ecuadorian coinage, some American cents and event English change. I found one coin with a picture of the Queen on it.